HIMSS15 Preview: Highlights and New Features


HIMSS 2015 Preview If you’re planning to attend HIMSS15, you’re not alone. With nearly 38,000 attendees last year, HIMSS 2015 is the largest health IT event in the industry.

To get the most out of your conference experience, Karen Malone, Vice President, Meeting Services, HIMSS North America advises all attendees to plan their agenda before arriving at HIMSS. To help attendees prioritize, below, Malone shares her “preview” of sessions you don’t want to miss, an inside scoop on the variety of session types and new features of this year’s conference.

Plan to Attend These Sessions

With so many topical emphases at HIMSS15 – everything from the value of health IT to ICD-10 compliance – choosing the right session can be a challenge for conference-goers. To help attendees make the right choices, Malone highlights a couple of her favorite sessions below.

  • Views from the Top: Six of these sessions are scheduled throughout the conference, featuring well-known speakers who will share their insights on a variety of healthcare topics, from leadership to patient engagement. One session in particular, called “Protecting our Patients by Staying Ahead of Security Threats,” includes speakers from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Veterans Career Services Boot Camp: This session will provide a “unique service for veterans looking for a job in health IT,” says Malone. Keynote speaker Dawn Halfaker will offer her perspective as a female veteran who has transitioned from the military to the civilian workforce. The session takes place on Sunday, April 12.
  • Davies Awards Presentations: Award recipients will present sessions that Malone notes will showcase health IT’s value and “offer real-life implementation activities from healthcare providers in hospitals/health systems, ambulatory care and community healthcare.” Presentations take place on Tuesday, April 14.

Bonus: HIMSS Block Party

“We always try to design the conference with the attendees in mind,” Malone says. This year the new HIMSS Block Party will feature the “culinary flavors of Chicago neighborhoods” as attendees enjoy food, games and prizes. Don’t miss the party Wednesday night at McCormick Place.

The Scoop on Session Types at HIMSS.15

Whether you learn by seeing, listening or interacting, the variety of sessions offered at HIMSS15 means everyone learns in a style that suits them. Malone notes that all of the types of sessions below allow for differences in learning style, as well as create ample time and space for meaningful education.

Here is a sampling of session types at this year’s conference:

  • Pre-Conference Sessions include a full day of workshops and 10 symposia on a variety of topics. With the Preconference Plus option, registrants can attend multiple symposia where there is open seating. Learn more here.
  • Educational Sessions are face-to-face and cover many health IT and healthcare topics of interest, catering to those who learn well in lecture-style formats. Learn more here.
  • E-Sessions provide individual 20-minute, computer-based learning modules. “We describe them as a type of retreat from the activity of the conference,” Malone says. Attendees can listen to sessions via headphones in a designated area. Learn more here.
  • Roundtable Sessions offer attendees a chance to interact with experts and voice their opinions on HIMSS15 topics. Learn more here.
  • Poster Sessions include both nursing and physician sessions that are open to attendees of the pre-conference symposia, and also the Emerging Professionals poster sessions, which are open to all attendees. Learn more here.
  • HIMSS15 Online allows virtual access to simulcast sessions (except George W. Bush), on-demand sessions and e-sessions. Malone says attendees can also be part of live moderated chats to add an interactive element to the experience. Learn more here.

HX360 Inaugural Event

This is the inaugural year for HX360, which will be co-located with HIMSS15. The event “looks at innovation with both health IT professionals and innovators as they look at next-generation technologies to help improve the delivery of healthcare,” says Malone. Emerging technologies that help solve provider challenges will be highlighted, along with a variety of panel discussions on healthcare IT challenges and tactics.

Here are some agenda highlights from the McKesson team.

Monday, April 13, 10:45 am – 11:10 am

How Interoperability, Data Sharing and Value-based Care are Shaping Diagnostic Imaging in Healthcare

Tomer Levy, general manager and vice president of workflow and infrastructure solutions, McKesson Imaging and Workflow Solutions, will speak about why diagnostic imaging solutions help improve workflow, support improvements to patient care and help organizations meet regulations.

Tuesday, April 14, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

The Workflow Menu: Integrated Data and Communications, with a Side of Analytics

Provider workflow is complicated when multiple providers or specialties are involved. McKesson’s Tomer Levy will also participate in this panel focusing on case studies around workflow solutions for the peri-operative suite, the site of complex pre- and post-surgical care and communications between providers, patients and families; and in radiology, where completion of the exam lifecycle (from scheduling to exam, diagnosis, report distribution and coding/billing) is often complicated by the existence of multiple specialty systems.

Tuesday, April 14th 2:30 – 4:30 pm

Innovation Challenge

Prior to the event, 83 companies entered their cutting-edge solutions into the event’s HX360 Innovation Challenge. Judges narrowed the field to 16 entries, and a final four will be presented during the event with two winners selected, based on criteria including patient empowerment, increased patient convenience and access to care.

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